Fox News Is The Biggest Ratings Loser On Inauguration Day

Monday’s presidential inauguration was a television event that was heavily promoted by all of the networks covering it. But one network was conspicuously short of viewers during President Obama’s speech and throughout the broadcast day.

While overall viewing was down for all three cable news networks compared to 2009’s inauguration, Fox took the deepest dive. CNN led during the President’s address with 3.1 million total viewers. MSNBC came in second with 2.3 million. Fox was dead last with 1.3 million. In the critical 25-54 year old demographic the numbers for Fox were even more dismal: CNN had 1.1 million in the demo. MSNBC had 706,000. Trailing significantly was Fox News with only 294,000, which was less than half of MSNBC and just over a quarter of CNN.

To some extent it is not surprising that the network that appeals most to Obama haters did not deliver their audience of whiny-ass sourpusses. It’s a constituency of sore losers who aren’t interested in staying informed and were probably busy cuddling their Bushmasters and forwarding chain emails about tyranny and the collapse of civilization.

What’s most startling in the ratings data is the relative disparities between the networks and their declines. Fox News was off a jaw-dropping 75% (82% demo) from 2009. CNN sunk a hefty 61% (67% demo). MSNBC, by comparison did fairly well with a mere 25% decline (37% demo). Digging deeper, these numbers tell us something that is even more foreboding for Fox. The percentage of their audience composed of the lucrative younger demos falls way below that of their competitors. CNN’s demo audience was 35% of their total viewers. MSNBC has 31% in the demo. But only 22% of Fox’s viewers are 25-54 years old.

Inauguration Ratings

That means that the next generation of news consumers is avoiding the severely conservative channel in droves. What’s more, MSNBC’s primetime anchors Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell were number one in their time slots for 2012 in the 18-34 demo. MSNBC has also led in African-American and Latino viewers. So by every measure MSNBC is positioned for future gains, while Fox is bracing for the bottom to fall out.

These numbers are not merely tabulated for bragging rights. They represent the potential for ad revenue. As the numbers fall, so do Fox’s profits. And with their dearth of the desirable youth demos, the advertising Fox maintains will command lower rates.

To top it off, Fox is actually advertising their own unpopularity. Today an article on Fox Nation beamed that “Viewership of Obama’s 2nd Inauguration Plunges.” It’s one of those rare occasions when Fox Nation posted something that was true.

Fox Nation

However, it is also true that the lion’s share of that plunge was the 75% of Fox viewers who tuned out. Apparently Fox is so intent on publicizing information that they believe reflects badly on the President that they didn’t even notice that it looks even worse for themselves. Well, nobody ever accused them of being brainiacs.


7 thoughts on “Fox News Is The Biggest Ratings Loser On Inauguration Day

  1. The typical Fox viewer is much happier in their world of magic and fantasy, where Romney won and Ted Nugent was made Secretary of Defense!

  2. “To some extent it is not surprising that the network that appeals most to Obama haters did not deliver their audience of whiny-ass sourpusses.”
    Mark, you state when bitching about how I mis-represent you that you welcome good debate with those who don’t agree with you, but you characterize people like this – proving me right that you don’t actually want disagreement, you just want to call people names and be disrespectful and get away with it.
    Also, I’ve questioned myself as to the fairness of calling you a communist, but the tone of this article confirms it – you are so in love with government that you actually believe people should spend their day praising our government and president like their lives depend on it. If they don’t, they are just uninformed “whiny-ass sourpusses” – You remind me of the poor North Korean people who when they are discussing their country on camera (for some documentary) how they feel the need – or fear – to do a cheer for their dear leader – you would fit right in, I’m sure if you could, all of us would be doing the same thing here – at gun point no doubt.

    • That’s about as disjointed and ignorant a response to this article as I can imagine. So I’m a communist who loves government (and ours, by the way is a capitalist democracy) because of my accurate analysis of TV ratings and the audience at Fox (which you never bothered to address)? And there is nothing even remotely resembling cheerleading for the President in this article. It is strictly confined to ratings analysis. You seem to confuse criticism of Fox with praise for Obama.

      If this reminds you somehow of North Korea it is only due to your own neuroses. And it is due to that sort of surreal logic that I have stopped responding to your irrelevant and off-topic comments. Apparently you suffer from an acute paranoia that has you seeing commies everywhere despite the total absence of any evidence. You’re a good little Fox viewer, aren’t you?

    • Your post borders on a gish gallop – a flood of half-truths, straw men and other assorted goodies that it is hard to address. Let’s address just a couple
      (1) There is nothing in this article about loving the government or needing citizens to cheerlead for the current president.
      (2) Fox and talk radio employ a great deal of half-truths, straw men, outright lies, and other dishonest tactics to delegitimize the president (hypocritically, too, since when Bush was president, there was endless chatter about respecting the office of president). Are there any positive news stories on Obama on Fox or talk radio?
      (3) If you listen to mainstream media and even liberal media (yes, Virginia, there is a difference), you will hear criticisms of Obama. There isn’t some resounding praise of him. However, we are looking for cogent arguments based on real-world statistics and data, not accusations (usually false) about being like Hitler or Mao or Chavez.

      There is more I could add, butt let’s just stop here.

      • He is not illegitimate, but focus on his record of debt. 6 trillion, girlfriend, that will be foisted on today’s young people. Stealing from the future taxpayers, the next generations simply for his pet projects, his ego, and whatnot. Young people may like him today, but they surely will despise him, or what he will have done to them, in the years to come.

    • Steve in York, Goldline called, your student loan to Glenn Beck University has been approved.

  3. I’m unaware of Mark’s ratings analysis when MSNBC’s ratings were completely in the toilet compared to FOX News.

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